Sometimes things are so blatantly obvious I wonder why I haven't seen them clearly long before I do!
I was chatting with my neighbor this morning. We talked about the health of both our old dogs and laughed about our not having any white flour when her daughter came looking for a cup full and what good gravy whole wheat flour makes. We talked of the neighborhood deer that spent a couple of hours lounging under one of her pines just wiling away the afternoon yesterday and how we hope no one shoots her come hunting season. We 're both anxious for the Michael Jackson hoopla to fade and rolled our eyes over Sarah Palin's current escapades.
I had never come close to mentioning politics with her before. She was born and raised in Idaho, one of the most red of red states. I was a bit surprised. She went on to explain she and one son are the black sheep of the family. They are, she said, about as liberal as you can get.
It made me think of my parents. They too were at opposite ends of the political spectrum though politics weren't much of an issue in our household. Then it hit me!
Okay. It's Friday. Yard work is done for the day and I haven't posted one of my Dogwalk Solutions for at least a week. Today it's how to end partisanship in Congress! Be it male or female, make it a requirement that the spouse of the candidate be of the opposite party!
Think about it. Look at Mary Matalin and James Carville, probably the best known family of political opposites. They have a good strong marriage and a great family regardless of their political views. Why? Well, they probably love each other which isn't a bad place to start, but more importantly they've learned to work together for the good of their family regardless of party affiliation!
What better training ground than family? Those in Congress don't seem to understand the concept of putting differences aside, or compromising for the good of the country. Maybe they would understand it in terms of family! Perhaps they should think of us as their surrogate children.
Sure, there will always be those who will never put anyone before themselves. Those like the aforementioned Sarah Palin, or John Edwards, John Ensign, Roland Burris and Mark Sanford. But, as in real life, are not most members of Congress family men and women like you and I, or my parents, or my neighbors? Of course they are.
I realize that as soon as someone is elected to Congress they go through a brain wipe that removes all sensibilities other than party and self. Maybe we have been handling elections all wrong. Let's forget political ideology and focus on what one learns from being a member of a family. The most important is perhaps the art of compromise for the greater good.
It is so simple and so obvious. And that is exactly why no one has seen it!